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2 min

Meet your queer candidates

Politicians take to the hustings in advance of Ontario election

With the Oct 6 Ontario election fast approaching, there are, so far, eight out gay and lesbian candidates competing for your votes. Here’s your introduction to the queers competing for your votes. Click on the candidates’ names to read more about them.

Liberal Party

 

The Liberal Party of Ontario doesn’t poll its candidates on their sexual identities, so they only officially know that incumbents Kathleen Wynne (Don Valley West) and Glen Murray (Toronto Centre) are gay. Both serve in cabinet, with Wynne as transportation minister and Murray as minister for research and innovation.

This is Kathleen Wynne‘s third campaign in the riding, which went Conservative in the May federal election. But she’s no stranger to tough fights. In 2007, she beat PC leader John Tory, who parachuted into her riding in a bid to win a Toronto-area seat.
Glen Murray first won his Toronto Centre seat in the 2010 by-election after George Smitherman resigned to run unsuccessfully for Toronto mayor. Murray once again faces popular homelessness activist Cathy Crowe for the NDP, Martin Abell for the PCs, and gay man Mark Daye for the Greens (see below).
New Democratic Party

The NDP asks all its candidates if they identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and two-spirit communities. As of press time, four queer candidates were nominated.

The NDP’s highest-profile queer candidate is Paul Ferreira, who’s running to reclaim the York South-Weston riding he held briefly between a February 2007 by-election and the general election later that year. He lost that race by fewer than 500 votes, making it the narrowest NDP loss in the province last year. The same riding went NDP in the May federal election, so it’s shaping up to be a tight race.
Alexander Brown is running for the NDP in the inner suburban Toronto riding of Willowdale. Brown is an ESL teacher and former community activist in Hamilton. He says the issues he cares about most are expanding transit, easing school overcrowding and pushing forward the NDP’s condo act amendments to protect buyers and owners from unscrupulous developers and boards.
Dale Hamilton is an out bisexual woman running in the suburban riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. She faces an uphill battle in a riding currently represented by PC Ted Arnott and in which the NDP placed fourth in 2007.
Sherry Hayes is running in the southeastern riding of Prince Edward-Hastings, where she faces off against the Liberal education minister, Leona Dombrowsky. Liberals have held the riding by comfortable margins since they first won it by fewer than 60 votes in 1999. The NDP has never polled above 14 percent here.
Green Party

The Green Party does ask its candidates to declare if they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. It is fielding two out queer candidates.

Mark Daye is campaigning to replace Glen Murray as the MPP for Toronto Centre. Daye works in finance and administration for an accessibility consulting firm and says he is active with the Toronto Cyclists Union, Food Forward and Greenpeace.
Donna Cridman is campaigning in a wide-open race in Welland, where the incumbant, NDP MPP Peter Kormos, is retiring. Cridman is a retired bank manager who runs a fishing lodge in northwestern Ontario, and lives in the riding with her partner of 34 years.  
Progressive Conservative Party

The Progressive Conservative Party does not ask its candidates about sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race or other personal characteristics, and therefore did not say if it had any openly gay candidates running for election.